DLA Piper wins coveted Heineken sole-adviser spot

Brewing giant Heineken has today revealed that DLA Piper will manage all its day-to-day legal work, after beginning the hunt for a sole adviser in the first half of last year.

For the next three years the firm will handle the bulk of the company’s legal needs itself, led by Edinburgh partners Hazel Moffat and John McKinlay, who started his career in legacy McGrigors’ IP department alongside Heineken legal chief Graeme Colquhoun.

Although Flint Bishop will continue to deal with Heineken’s licensing work and TLT will remain its adviser on recoveries, responsibility for managing these relationships will pass from Colquhoun to Moffat and McKinlay.

According to Colquhoun, DLA Piper was his firm of choice because it “demonstrated an excellent cultural fit and the business focus we were looking for”.

The deal is a coup for DLA Piper, which saw off competition from sole-provider veterans Eversheds and Pinsent Masons as well as trusted Heineken advisers Shepherd & Wedderburn and TLT to win the mandate.

Sole-provider deals are rising in popularity and it’s easy to see why: for general counsel they are a means of reducing and consolidating costs into one fixed payment, while for firms they provide a reliable income stream as well as an unprecedented opportunity to really get to know a client’s legal needs.

As general counsel continue to seek ways to get value for money, expect more to follow Colquhoun’s example.

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